Oftentimes, kids need to be coaxed into trying something new. Desperate parents will try anything to entice their kids into eating unfamiliar foods. I am guilty of the “choo-choo fork”. Chugga-chugga, Chugga-chugga, Chugga-chugga, Whoo- wooo! (Whoo-wooo is the train whistle — the point where the fork meets the mouth and you’re either greeted with an open tunnel to proceed or blockade to entry.) I’ve experienced both with my daughter — but that’s another story.
It was under these circumstances that I first encountered the term “dip-dip”. Last year, my brother’s family was visiting with their two young boys, Carter and Palmer who were five and three at the time. For dinner one night, I braised a pork shoulder and served it with pickled red onions and a chimichurri sauce. The meal was eyed suspiciously by Palmer, but with some gentle prompting, he tasted the pork. He was still dubious about the bright green sauce however — until his mother told him, “It’s dip-dip — for your meat.” Appeased, he dipped the pork in the chimichurri and ate it! That’s when I learned that Dip-dip was a fun activity at meal time. Dip-dip was good. Dip-dip made it better.
Aside from its ability to overcome wary palates, this citrus and herb blend is so versatile you’ll want to use it in countless dishes. Try it as a marinade, dipping sauce or dressing. It will provide a zingy, vibrant, fresh embellishment for a myriad of foods. Grilled chicken? Add a drizzle. Pan-saut?ed fish? Brighten the flavors with a spoonful. Crudit?s? Swirl some into some plain yogurt for a tasty dip. Crostini? Spread with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes and top with — dip-dip. Pork, beef, poultry, fish, shellfish, tofu, vegetables, pasta – this herbed sauce adds a pop of flavor and complexity to just about anything. Oh and did I mention it takes about 10 minutes to make? Yes — it’s cooking nirvana!
Take it from a three-year old. Dip-dip is a good thing.
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 lime, zested and juiced*
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablesoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Into the bowl of a mini-food processor or blender add all ingredients but olive oil.
- Pulse to roughly chop herbs and garlic.
- Slowly add olive oil and blend until herbs are finely chopped and incorporated with the oil. If mixture is too thick, add more olive oil one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.